The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre is made up a group of dedicated, passionate, caring and profession individuals including:
We have 21 professionals on staff including counsellors, victim service workers, prevention educators, development and administrative support. Our Leadership Team consists of our Executive Director, Direct Client Services Manager, Prevention Manager and Resource Development Manager.
We have a range of committed and fabulous volunteers ranging from Sexual Assault Response Team members, Office and Event Volunteers. Find out more about how you can get involved.
Board of Directors
Kelly Branchi – Co-Chair
I received my degree in nursing from UVic in 2002. I have been working in Emergency for the past eight years and was introduced to the VSAC and SANE programs. Six years ago I took the SANE training at BCIT and since then my passion for the program has grown. I applied for the Board of Directors position to gain a community perspective, rather than just a medical. Outside of nursing, my true love is yoga. I did my yoga teacher training two years ago and practice as often as I can.
Julia Denley – Director
Julia is a pre-med student at UVic studying biochemistry/microbiology and English; outside of school, she works as a Recreation Aide at a psychogeriatric care facility. She is passionate about fundraising and promoting awareness of important social issues, particularly women’s issues and sexualized violence. She founded UVic Hope, a humanitarian fundraising and awareness organization that has conducted fundraisers for a variety of causes, including a benefit concert, silent auction, and raffle for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and she is currently in the process of starting another fundraiser for VSAC. She is proud to contribute to VSAC and is a big supporter of all the work that the Centre does to support survivors of sexualized violence; she’s also very excited about VSAC’s transition to serving not only women who are survivors of sexualized violence, but trans survivors as well. Julia has thoroughly enjoyed serving on the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes organizing committee for the last few years, and looks forward to doing so again this year and in the future. She completed her SART training in the winter of 2011, and has since been very grateful for the opportunity to volunteer in such a rewarding capacity. Serving on the Board of Directors has been another great experience, as she is always happy to find more ways to be involved with the important work that VSAC does.
Gulrose Jiwani – Director
Gulrose Jiwani is an executive leader, academic and researcher, currently serving as President & CEO with HPSC Health Policy & Strategies Consultants Inc., an international consulting firm with the mission to reduce health and social disparities globally. She is a strong systems thinker and progressive visionary with a proven record of creating innovative, evidence-based solutions to complex challenges. She is passionate about creating just societies through understanding, advocacy and education. She is noted for her work with at-risk, vulnerable populations and promotes policies and programs that address the multi-faceted, cross-cutting issues of extreme poverty and marginalization. She shares generously of her time and knowledge, and works tirelessly in service to communities on a number of local, national and international initiatives. She has a PhD (Nursing Science) from University of Washington, Seattle where she serves as Affiliate Assistant Professor, Psycho-social & Community Health. Previously, she worked as Clinical Nurse Specialist in psychiatry/mental health, addictions, forensic and cancer care settings. She is committed to ending sexualized violence globally, and is very impressed by the skills, expertise, and collective dedication the Board, staff and volunteers at VSAC bring to eliminating sexualized violence and to improving the lives of all who are impacted. She is humbled and honored to serve on the Board of Directors of VSAC and is looking forward to supporting its continued success.
Melanie Litoski – Director
Melanie is the Vice President, Controller for National Money Mart Company in Victoria. In this role, Melanie is responsible for operational accounting, internal controls, and procurement for a network of more than 800 alternative financial services locations across North America. Prior to joining National Money Mart in 2014, Melanie served as Vice President, Finance and Controller for ENMAX Corporation, an Alberta based utility company, from 2008-2014. Previous to that Melanie held the position of Chief Financial Officer from 2005-2008 for First Canada, a Canadian transportation company with a UK parent, head quartered in Calgary.
Melanie holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and became a qualified Chartered Accountant in 1997 after articling with the firm of Kouri Berezan Heinrichs in Edmonton. In 1998, Melanie relocated to Saint John, New Brunswick. While in Saint John, Melanie served as Audit Manager with KPMG before moving into private industry in 2001 as a Controller for RST Industries, a division of JD Irving.
Melanie has several years’ experience teaching accounting, tax and management courses at the University of New Brunswick and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. Melanie has also had reoccurring speaking engagements with the Strategy Institute and Federated Press on accounting and leadership topics.
On a personal note, Melanie is married with three children and has held volunteer positions with Financial Executives International, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Airdrie Minor Hockey Association. Melanie has mentored young women through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta’s Mentorship Program and the University of Calgary School Business Mentorship Program.
Sheldon Kitzul – Director
Sheldon is a Leadership Coach, Social Worker, Educator and political activist. His work provides inspiration for clients through energy, insight and enthusiasm, and is centered on his belief that sexualized violence is, in our current social malaise, covertly taught as acceptable to our boys and girls. As many others have expressed, sexualized violence is a men’s issue and as such, he works toward re-educating boys and men to step out of gendered boxes and put a stop to violence in every form. As a client once wrote, “A recommendation does not even come close to expressing the profound effect that the coaching relationship with Sheldon has had on both my business life and personal well-being.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Victoria and is an Associate Certified Coach, earning that credential through Accomplishment Coaching in Seattle, WA.
He currently coaches business owners, executives, and politicians
Sean Dhillon – Co-Chair
Sean Dhillon is a Senior Manager of Residential Lending with TD Bank lending to Canadians all across Canada. As an award winning finance professional he is routinely published in magazines and blogs. He is a long time resident of Victoria attending both high school, College, and University here. In addition to helping Canadians reaching their financial goals Sean is an active Board Director and avid fundraiser with several high impact agencies in the community. Sean also trains and lectures on Social Media Best Practices and speaks at small and large scale conferences. He is a supporter of VSAC for the past 6 years and often assists in organizing the ‘Walk A Mile In Her Shoes’ event. His Walk A Mile Team took 2nd place in fundraising winning the coveted “golden heel” which sits proudly on his office desk.
Nat Johnstone – Director
I am originally from Bangkok, Thailand and have been in a beautiful Victoria for about 13 years. My educational background is in Sociology and Anthropology, but I had spent almost 5 year in purchasing field with Proctor and Gamble Thailand. My life had changed significantly since I moved to Canada. Being a visible minority and English as a second language presented many challenges. I had to re-define myself and my goal again. Life eventually led me to a non-profit world. My first non-profit organization that I got involve in is Vancouver Island Women’s Business Network. Then I and a handful of Thai people founded a Thai Association in 2011. I ran the association for 2 years and thought that I am ready for another challenge and that’s when I decided to apply for VSAC board of director position.
In my personal life, I am married and have one beautiful 13 years old daughter. I have been helping my husband running a business in construction field since 2013. It is a job that helps paying the bills, but my passion is truly in non-profit sector. I am hoping to work full time in this field in the future when my daughter becomes more independent. Meanwhile volunteering in this sector will help me learn new skills and fulfill my need to do meaningful things in the world.
Lisa Jozsa – Director
Originally from Ottawa, Lisa moved to Victoria in 2013 where she has been happily setting down roots and building her law practice. Lisa is a lawyer with Quadra Legal Centre, practicing primarily in the areas of residential real estate, wills and estate planning, estate administration, and corporate and business law. Lisa’s interest in human rights is deeply rooted and began influencing her academic and volunteer experiences as early as high school. This focus continued throughout her university years at an all-women’s college in Missouri, and in Ottawa and Halifax. While attending law school, Lisa was a member of the Canadian Lawyers Association for International Human Rights and she traveled to Puerto Rico to study Women and the Law. Upon relocating to Victoria, Lisa sought out VSAC and is gratified to be on the Board of Directors and make a contribution to this organization. She is committed to the mission of VSAC and is looking forward to helping it achieve its goals. When not practicing law or volunteering, Lisa enjoys outdoor activities and exploring beautiful Vancouver Island, the previous home of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Peter Gibbs – Director
When I was in kindergarten, the other boys in my class played this game where they would chase the girls and try and kiss them. The girls didn’t like it, so I would chase the other boys to try to make them stop. So I’ve always felt that men have a responsibility to do what they can to fight gender-based violence. I spent 17 summers at Y Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, from age 10 to 27, as a camper, camp counsellor and eventually running the summer programs. Since 2008, I’ve been a grassroots community organizer working on campaigns to change our voting system, block oil tanker traffic expansion on the BC coast and push the University of Victoria to divest from fossil fuels. Currently, I run a training program that teaches folks around BC how to run grassroots campaigns for social change. I live in Fernwood with three of my best friends and a cat. I bike everywhere, and go kayaking and rock climbing most weeks.
Allison Hagen – Director
Allison Hagen is the Director of Finance and Administration for the Institute of Health Economics, a not for profit institute engaged in health economic and decision analytic modeling and health technology assessment. Her career has included time in public practice (KPMG), several CFO roles in both private and public companies reporting on the TSX and as a self employed financial consultant. Her passion at this point in her career is focused on the not for profit sector. Allison is a current member of the BC Chapter of Certified Public Accountants having attained the CPA (CGA) designation in 1994 and completing an MBA in 2009. Allison is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She has served on boards and volunteer positions in both the profit and not for profit sectors. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, art, and horses.
Claudia Fabbri – Director
Claudia is passionate about helping others and making a difference in the community. She speaks four languages and enjoys all things international, including exploring the world from an early age. Her passion for travel and willingness to learn about other cultures and peoples have taken her to 40 countries around the globe. She was educated in Canada, England, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, and Wales. Claudia holds numerous University degrees, including a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies. Upon completion of her studies, she joined government and gained extensive experience in the workings of government, international and intergovernmental relations, business improvement and performance. She is a certified Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt. Before joining government, among other experiences, she taught at universities abroad and was a Research Associate at the Centre for Global Studies (University of Victoria). Over the years, Claudia has received numerous awards for her excellence and leadership. She has always enjoyed making use of her time and talents to find innovative ways to help the community, including with Rotary International and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. She is honoured to have been invited to be a Director on the VSAC Board of Directors.